8 years ago today, you were born, and I became a parent. Even though I had the support of my family, I was essentially alone, and as a 20 year-old, first time, single parent, I was terrified. You pooped strange things, hated to sleep, and couldn't stand to be put down. Learning how to breast feed almost gave me a nervous breakdown, and I thank God for the patient Lactation Consultant at the local hospital.
Even when I was terrified of everything, I was constantly amazed by you. I was amazed that I had been part of creating such a beautiful human being. I was amazed by the joy and wonder you gave me every day. I was amazed that I could love someone so much.
As you grew, you continued to astound me. You were just so brilliant and so fascinating. When you began to do things like stare at the phone book for hours, or pour over the vacuum cleaner catalogues, I passed it off as a quirk. When you began to meltdown over transitions, I thought it was just a phase. You food aversions? Well, I guess you were just picky.
Before I knew it, you were in kindergarten. I worried about you, so much smaller than the other kids, so different. But you did pretty well. The structure of school suited you. And if you had a meltdown or two? Well, you were still young, and school was new. Your teacher thought you need some OT for your fine motors skills. I chalked it up the fact that you were small, and your hands weren't that strong yet.
When I met GH, and we began dating, he observed your quirks and foibles with a new eye. He was the first one to introduce me to the word Asperger's. I brushed it aside, choosing not to think about it.
And then came the move from Vermont, where your whole world existed, to Maine, where everything was strange and new. You hated everything about it. I took you away from your Grandma and Papa, your school, you daycare, your everything. It was hard for you to adjust, and even now, almost 3 years later, you still tell me you want to move back to Vermont.
You adjusted after a fashion, and school went well. Until your teacher suggested maybe you should go to Step-Up instead of First Grade, a program for kids who needed a little more time to grow emotionally and socially. It was a hard decision, but we put you into Step Up. It was a good choice. It was there that we first began talking to your teacher about the Asperger's possibility, which I had finally began to explore. Your teacher worked with you and helped you through your fits. She let you stand up to do your work, and gave you math problems to keep you stimulated.
And last year was First Grade. The big time. It was also the year we were finally able to get you in for a behavioral evaluation after being on a waiting list for a year. And after many tests (which you really enjoyed) they told us what we already knew in our hearts- that you have Asperger's.
It's been quite the journey, these past 8 years. There have been hard times, when I just couldn't give you everything you wanted, and moments of total bliss, when everything just seemed to work perfectly. And even with the shouting, and the tears, I always love every moment of being your mother.
G, you're an amazing, brilliant, talented, unique boy, and I'm proud to be your mother everyday. Thank you for being my little boy for 8 years.
All my love,